Sysmex reorganizes HITS division

Sysmex America (Mundelein, Illinois) reported that its Health Information Technology Systems (HITS) Division has been reorganized in the U.S. with increased staffing to meet an upward shift in market demand for clinical laboratory middleware products. Ranjit Pradhan, vice president of global product management, HITS, will now head the HITS business unit in the U.S.

Sysmex's information technology products include MOLIS WAM, a work area management system, also referred to as middleware. It provides rules-based intelligence to control reflex, repeat, and add-on testing automatically, allowing technologists to save time by focusing on reviewing abnormal and specialty tests. The Sysmex WAM mediates activities between laboratory instruments and laboratory information systems (LIS), and it is scalable to meet the needs of various sized labs.

Sysmex develops clinical diagnostics, automation, and information systems.

AHRQ: hospital bill tops $790 billion

The nation's hospital bill totaled more than $790 billion in 2004, according to a new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Washington). The bill represents the total amount charged for 39 million hospital stays that year. The federal report also found that:

Nearly $500 billion, or 60%, of the national hospital bill went to the federal and state governments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The most expensive condition was hardening of the arteries of the heart, resulting in $44 billion in hospital charges, or one of every 5 dollars billed. Also among the most expensive conditions: heart attacks, congestive heart failure, pregnancy complications and delivery, and care of newborn babies.

Medicare placed pneumonia and osteoarthritis among its top five most expensive conditions. Medicaid, which covers certain groups of low-income patients, had treatments for pregnant mothers and their deliveries, plus care of newborn babies, as its two most expensive types of hospital stays.

Medicaid's top five most expensive conditions also included pneumonia, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorders.

Private insurers' biggest bills were for pregnancy and delivery, care of newborn infants, hardening of the heart arteries, heart attack and back problems.

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